SAN ANTONIO- It's tip off time Thursday night for a new basketball league aimed at cutting down crime on the east side. City and community leaders were on hand to launch the Eastside Promise Neighborhood Midnight Basketball League at the Davis Scott Family YMCA.
The new program is part of a continuing effort to make the east side safer after a burst of deadly violence in December. Police have made hundreds of arrests and the city has installed new street lights and cameras in the months following.
"I feel if the league gets a good enough buzz and enough people to come to games, a lot more people will join and it will prevent more violence and crime that does happen around here," Forrest Blackwell said. He's excited to start playing in the games, which begin Friday night.
City leaders say the league is a way to get kids off the streets. Officers will be at all games to make sure they're family friendly.
"I will probably start one of the games off by doing a windmill slam dunk from the foul line," joked San Antonio Police Chief William McManus. "We'll see how it goes in these boots."
Games will be held at 8 p.m., 10 p.m. and midnight Fridays and Saturday nights through August 4th. The league will have up to 12 teams and is free of charge.